Jared from Kansas, USA was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in 1994. Following an unquenchable thirst, three days of bed wetting and a diminished appetite, his mum took him to the doctor. The diagnosis of T1D brought one question to Jared’s mind: “Am I going to die?”. Such was the weight the words carried.
“A week in the hospital and our lives were changed forever. I recall they wouldn’t let us go home until my parents could give me an injection, but the issue was I didn’t want them,” remembers Jared.
“Things were very different back then too. Everything revolved around eating certain amounts at certain times to match the insulin. We had NPH and R, and no CGM. The glucose monitor took two minutes to give a reading and required a giant drop of blood.”
It wasn’t until 16 years later that Jared got involved with JDRF in the US (JDRF International), attending a Walk event in Wisconsin.
“I later stumbled upon the JDRF Ride for a Cure page, and saw they had a 100-mile ride in Death Valley, California. I thought to myself, “Wow, one of the most uninhabitable places on earth and I could ride a bike across there?” Inspired by the opportunity to raise funds for research to find a cure and better treatment for T1D, Jared registered for the event. “So, I instinctively signed up and then obtained a bike. When I first got on my bike, it was a 3-mile ride and I thought I was going to die!”
“During this time, I also met a local man, Kent Schnakenberg who has ridden in almost every ride that I know of. He gave me hope when I honestly thought there was no way I was going to do this.”
Jared headed to Death Valley and undertook the ride in October 2016.
“I had the time of my life,” he says.
“Since then I have been involved in the Ride program and made plenty of T1D bike friends along the way. I can honestly say the Ride program here saved me and keeps my fire alive to take care of myself. Whenever I start to suffer on the bike, I quickly turn the thoughts in my head to why I’m doing this. I am suffering because there are so many people living with T1D who suffer every day and there is no reason for it, whatsoever.”
Jared’s other involvements with JDRF International include giving presentations and helping others get setup on DIY Diabetes management as well as going to T1D Summits and connecting with others from the community.
This year, Jared has decided to take his riding journey across the world and will be participating in the Type 1 Challenge Australia in 2020.
“I wanted a challenge! What better way is there to raise awareness and funds than to do something that most people could consider a little crazy and to be somewhere I’ve never been?! Plus, I will meet even more people that share the passion for the reason we ride and the passion for riding! The whole reason I ride is to raise awareness and hopefully give people hope along the way. We will beat this disease whether it be living with it, preventing it, or curing it.”
For more information on the Type 1 Challenge, follow this link https://bluearmy.jdrf.org.au/event/type-1-challenge-2020